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Written by Guest Blogger Zena Allen, Goods Inwards Inspection Team Leader for Industry Business in the UK, Schneider Electric.
International Day of Families at Schneider Electric
Appreciating that diversity unlocks innovation and fosters collaboration, Schneider Electric maintains processes to identify female talent and to accelerate their careers. This includes offering both female and male employees the opportunity to pursue flexible work options to help them attain a greater work-life balance.
In recognition of the International Day of Families, we spoke to women at Schneider Electric who are successfully balancing family life with rewarding careers:
Meet Zena Allen at Schneider Electric. Zena works as the Goods Inwards Inspection Team Leader, for Industry Business in the UK.
Can you tell us about your role at Schneider Electric?
I am part of the Global Customer Satisfaction & Quality team for Eurotherm by Schneider Electric. My role is one of Quality Governance which includes Internal Auditing, release of Global company documents, maintenance of the Global Electronic Business Management System and validation of Global Data which includes Field Failure Rate reporting on a monthly basis.
How would you describe your career journey?
I have been with Eurotherm by Schneider Electric for 16 years. I started out as a Goods Inward Inspector, with a natural progression to Goods Inward Inspection Team Leader. At the end of 2012 I took a career break to have my first child and returned in January 2014 working on the Business Management tool SAP QM project for a year. After this time I was offered a change to move from Goods Inwards Inspection into Customer Satisfaction and Quality. With this came many new challenges. The diverse role in Goods Inwards Inspection had allowed me to create many good relationships and interactions within the company at a local level which in turn gave me the foundation to build the relationships at a Global level.
What are some of the exciting projects you have worked on at Schneider Electric?
I have been involved with the successful achievement of Global certification for the Business to ISO 9001, assisting in the creation of a Global Electronic Business Management System and a core member of the implementation of Issue to Prevention Globally into Eurotherm by Schneider Electric.
How did you make a request for flexible working – what process did you have to follow?
I followed the procedure for requesting flexible working. This was an easy process to follow as it was set out in Invensys UK Policy at the time. I was required to submit three choices with justification. My Manager was very helpful and open to discussions on the flexible working choices I submitted. The business case was put forward to Management and approved with my second choice accepted.
Do you feel it has made any impact on your ability to progress at Schneider Electric and how has the company supported you?
An impact in a good way, my work life balance is the best it has been since joining the company. This allows me to focus for the hours I am here at work and concentrate on family outside of these hours. I am also very supported by my Manager and the team I am part of. It is very well considered that the time I have in my working week I am able to achieve activities and commit time to project work and I can still be successful and progress now I am working to part time hours. It takes an adjustment to accept and manage your time differently. I am able to be flexible if required to travel, attend training, etc and in turn the business support me as a mother when I am required to deal with family duties.
Do you have any advice to give mother’s wanting to return to work or those pursuing a flexible work pattern?
I would encourage any mother wanting to return to work or an employee considering changing their working pattern to find out about the flexible working policy, have open discussions with your manager, encourage to explore a range of possible choices to submit when wanting to return or change. This helps aid the decision taken by the business and in turn you will not be disappointed as you have made those considerations yourself.
Schneider Electric has many initiatives supporting the advancement of women’s careers through to executive level including diversity days, maternity leave policy, network activities, women leaders events, gender workshop for leaders, women in leadership program and more. Why not get on board and take a look at our current vacancies with this top employer.
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The article “Schneider Electric understands the importance of flexible work options“, by Zena Allen originally appeared on www.wherewomenwork.com Copyright © January 2017. Reprinted with permission.